Lower Slaughter on the Wold - History and Facts | History Hit

Lower Slaughter on the Wold

Lower Slaughter, Cheltenham, England, United Kingdom

Peta Stamper

07 Jun 2021
Image Credit: Shutterstock

About Lower Slaughter on the Wold

Nestled within the Cotswolds in England, Lower Slaughter on the Wold is a quintessentially English village built along the River Eye. The village features a 19th century water mill with a waterwheel and chimney, as well as beautiful 16th and 17th century homes made from Cotswold limestone.

You might recognise the village from the 2020 film adaptation of Jane Austen’s ‘Emma’, within which Lower Slaughter on the Wold starred as Highbury, with notable characters crossing the footbridges over the Eye.

Lower Slaughter on the Wold history

The village was named Lower Slaughter on the Wold from the Old English name for a wetland or ‘slough’, referring to its location beside the river. ‘Slothre’ was noted in the Domsday Book – William the Conqueror‘s survey of his newly won land – showing that Lower Slaughter has been been inhabited for almost 1,000 years.

Following the Norman conquest, the manor was lived in by the sheriff. It was later granted to Sir George Whitmore in 1611, remaining in his family until 1964. A mill was also recorded in 1086 along the Eye in Lower Slaughter, known by the 14th century as ‘Slaughter Mill’.

By the 18th century the mill was independent of the manor and came into ownership of John Wilkins and Sons. The mill used both the water wheel and steam power to grind grains into flour, making it the ideal spot for Collett’s Bakery to operate from 1959.

After sadly going out of business, the mill was opened as a museum in 1995.

Lower Slaughter on the Wold today

At the western end of the village you will find the Old Mill, now home to its Riverside Tea Room and gift shop – the perfect place to stop and enjoy your surroundings. The Old Mill Museum provides a glimpse into the milling process, with the stones and machinery still in place. Walk along the most romantic street in Britain, Copse Hill Road, voted in 2011 by over 20,000 people.

If you enjoy walking, then walk from Lower Slaughter up to Bourton-on-the-Water and Stow-on-the-Wold, which takes roughly a day and there are plenty of idyllic places to stop and picnic, or to grab lunch at a pub.

Getting to Lower Slaughter on the Wold

Located just off the A429, Lower Slaughter on the Wold is a 40 minute drive from Gloucester and a 55 minute drive from Oxford. The 801 bus from Gloucester stops at Slaughter Pike, a 7 minute walk from Lower Slaughter.

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